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Memphis and The Church of God in Christ: The Intersections of Religion and Economic Uplift in a Southern City

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Abstract:

After the Civil War, the city of Memphis, Tennessee underwent important economic changes. Mechanization in the cotton fields and an emerging industrial economy attracted thousands of blacks from the nearby Mississippi and Arkansas Delta. With the influx of blacks entering the city, the Chamber of Commerce wooed northern industrialists with the promise of cheap labor and an anti-union climate. Henry Ford opened plants in 1913 and 1924; Fisher Body Works, a company that produced wooden parts for automobile bodies, began operations in the 1920s; Sears located a retail outlet there during the same decade; and Firestone opened a plant in 1937. Memphis became a regional beacon of progress that appeared to offer more freedom for blacks in contrast to the Delta.

In reality, blacks in Memphis remained at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Delta migrants encountered an urban environment that reproduced rural forms of paternalism, intimidation, and white supremacy. Nonetheless, as the number of black migrants from the Delta increased, so did the popularity of the largest African American Pentecostal denomination, The Church of God in Christ (COGIC). For blacks that migrated to Memphis, religion represented the most significant vestige of continuity between their rural past and economic urban future. This paper will examine the intersections of black economic progress and religion, arguing that African American religion must be considered when analyzing black economic advancement.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p433344_index.html
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MLA Citation:

White, Jr., Calvin. "Memphis and The Church of God in Christ: The Intersections of Religion and Economic Uplift in a Southern City" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p433344_index.html>

APA Citation:

White, Jr., C. , 2010-09-29 "Memphis and The Church of God in Christ: The Intersections of Religion and Economic Uplift in a Southern City" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p433344_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: After the Civil War, the city of Memphis, Tennessee underwent important economic changes. Mechanization in the cotton fields and an emerging industrial economy attracted thousands of blacks from the nearby Mississippi and Arkansas Delta. With the influx of blacks entering the city, the Chamber of Commerce wooed northern industrialists with the promise of cheap labor and an anti-union climate. Henry Ford opened plants in 1913 and 1924; Fisher Body Works, a company that produced wooden parts for automobile bodies, began operations in the 1920s; Sears located a retail outlet there during the same decade; and Firestone opened a plant in 1937. Memphis became a regional beacon of progress that appeared to offer more freedom for blacks in contrast to the Delta.

In reality, blacks in Memphis remained at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Delta migrants encountered an urban environment that reproduced rural forms of paternalism, intimidation, and white supremacy. Nonetheless, as the number of black migrants from the Delta increased, so did the popularity of the largest African American Pentecostal denomination, The Church of God in Christ (COGIC). For blacks that migrated to Memphis, religion represented the most significant vestige of continuity between their rural past and economic urban future. This paper will examine the intersections of black economic progress and religion, arguing that African American religion must be considered when analyzing black economic advancement.


Similar Titles:
Becoming a Global Religion: The Globalization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

"He Doesn't Look a Thing Like Jesus": Beyond the Black Christ and the "Negro Church" in African American Religions

The Shifting Politics of Economic Development in the City of Beacon and Poughkeepsie, New York: Implications for Small City Economic Development


 
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